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HOW TO LIVE FRUGALLY AND SAVE MONEY
Wondering how to live frugally and save money?
Frugal living isn’t about depriving yourself of all of life’s luxuries. It’s actually about freeing up money for the important things.
By being frugal you’re able to pay off debt, save for retirement and do the things you enjoy without having to worry about whether you have enough money.
For example, if you love traveling then living frugally throughout the year can allow you to free up money for travel.
Want to buy a home? Living frugally can free up money to save towards your goal.
Maybe you want to retire early? Living frugally can allow you to do so.
By living a frugal life you start to value your hard earned money more. You’ll start to gain control over your money instead of your money controlling you.
Following the frugal living tips in this article, you will not only gain more respect for the money you worked so hard to earn but you’ll find that you won’t really feel deprived after all.
You’ll actually start to wonder why you didn’t live this way sooner!
WHAT IS FRUGAL LIVING?
We talked a little bit about why you would want to and should want to live frugally but now let’s look at what the definition of frugality and frugal living says.
“Frugality is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.
In behavioral science, frugality has been defined as the tendency to acquire goods and services in a restrained manner, and resourceful use of already owned economic goods and services, to achieve a longer-term goal.“
Basically, when you’re frugal you learn to stretch your money as far as it can go and you become super resourceful and less wasteful.
You learn to use what you have and get bargains on the things you need.
You learn to use free resources and services and only pay for what you have to.
So are you ready to live a frugal life and start taking control over your money so you can accomplish your goals?
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH FRUGAL LIVING
Let’s get started with frugal living basics and expand from there.
The first and most important step in frugal living is to start a budget.
You need to know where your money is going, how much you need to make and where you can save more.
Start by writing down all of your expenses and income. Use credit card statements, bank statements and receipts to help.
To get the most accurate idea of your expenses and where your money is going, track you expenses daily on a notepad, in your phone or use a spending tracker app.
If you need help with starting a budget, check out my article on creating an effective budget.
You can also fill in your info below to signup for my newsletter to gain access to the Freebie Library where you can print out free budget printables to get you started.
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REDUCE YOUR BILLS
Once you’ve made a budget you’ll be able to see your financial picture as a whole. You should then start to see where you can make
Reducing your monthly expenses and something you have control over and much easier than trying to earn more money.
Do you have any subscription services you don’t need or forgot you even had but are paying monthly for? Cancel them!
Is your electricity bill too high?
Can you lower the thermostat and put on a sweater? How about open some windows or use a fan instead of the AC?
Get in the habit of unplugging things that don’t need to be plugged in all the time like a microwave or a charger. These items are drawing electricity even when not in use.
Do you have cable? Honestly, all you really need is a digital antenna for local channels and an internet connection so you can stream movies and TV shows. By cutting the cord on cable you can save hundreds a year or more.
Frugal Tip: If you’re currently paying for movies, music,
REUSE WHAT YOU HAVE
Reusing what you have is key especially when starting out on your frugal living journey.
Before this you may have just went out and bought things you thought you needed but now you need to think about what you already have and if you absolutely need what you are wanting to buy.
For example, maybe you’re organizing your home and you buy a bunch of bins or maybe you’re decorating and you buy some new decor.
After learning to live frugally, you start to look and see what you already have that you can reuse for a new purpose.
For the bin example, do you have baskets lying around or old bins you were using but not really filling properly? Do you have boxes that you could reuse for storage of things that don’t need an airtight bin, what can you get rid of or donate to be able to store what you need without buying more storage containers?
For the decorating example, what do you have around your home that you can reuse or restore into something new?
Frugal Tip: If you’re just tired of the way your house looks and you feel like it needs a makeover, try giving it a deep clean and declutter. It’s amazing how different your space will look and feel after. Plus you’ll save a ton of money!
LIMIT DISPOSABLE PRODUCTS
Disposable products like paper towels, disposable mop pads, dryer sheets and more can get very costly if you use them often.
If you’re currently spending money on these items you can free up that money to put towards debt and savings almost immediately.
Replace paper towels with hand towels and rags. Use regular dishes and replace disposable mop pads with reusable ones or use a steam mop which will replace not only the pads but also the need for expensive cleaning products.
I love this steam mop because it has a detachable handheld built in so it takes up less space and has two purposes.
Check out 21 Eco-friendly Products That Save You Tons of Money for more ideas of things you can replace with more affordable reusable options.
Meal planning saves tons of money. Groceries are actually a huge expense for most families.
The easiest way to start meal planning is to simply write down your meals for the week.
For your first meal plan look inside your refrigerator and pantry and see what you already have that you can make dinner out of. Buy some additional ingredients to complete the meals for the week and then work on next weeks meal plan.
If you want someone to just do the meal planning for you or need help with planning meals, I recommend trying out $5 Meal Plans.
For just $5 a month you’ll get meal plans emailed to you each week that also include a shopping list!
Plus you can try $5 Meal Plans risk-free for 14 days to see if you like it. Check out $5 Meal Plans here.
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RENT OR BORROW INSTEAD OF BUYING
Why buy something you can borrow or rent for free for a fraction of the price?
If you’re only going to use something once or twice or don’t have the space for it, then don’t buy it.
Frugal people don’t buy things they don’t need to buy.
For example, if you need a tool to cut tiles to redo your bathroom, rent it from your local hardware store.
If you need a fancy dress for a wedding or party, consider borrowing one from a friend, shopping thrift or using a fashion rental service like Rent the Runway (get $30 off using my referral link here).
DO IT YOURSELF
Doing things yourself saves money in most cases. With all the free resources available online, you can learn almost anything. Doing simple DIY projects yourself can really help your budget.
You can learn to sew, craft or even do some minor repairs on your home and car. Check out my article on Do it Yourself Car Maintenance for some tips.
Some super simple things you can start with would be to dry clean your clothes at home or to make your own cleaning products.
This should also apply to personal care like haircuts, coloring and manicures and
SHOP USED INSTEAD OF NEW
Shopping thrift stores, garage sales,
Local garage sale groups are easy to find online and sites and apps like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and LetGo are making it super easy to find things without having to spend an entire Sunday walking garage sales and thrift stores.
You can also check out sites like Freecycle.org to find a local group in your area.
Frugal Tip: Want to earn money on your gently used items? You can easily sell your things on some of the sites mentioned above (Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and LetGo). If you have a lot of clothing items than check out The Best Places to Sell Clothes Online.
I love using coupons, coupons are basically free money. Clipping coupons you come across in the paper or even printing them online from coupons.com can save you hundreds a month on groceries and personal care.
Just be sure to only use coupons for things you would buy anyway not just because there was a coupon for it.
Want an even easier way to save? Use coupon apps like Ibotta which make it super easy to save without ever having to actually clip a coupon.
If you’re shopping online you also want to make sure you’re going through a cashback site like Ebates first. Not only will you get cash back on your purchases but they also share coupon codes you can use.
Ebates is totally free, Plus get a $10 bonus when you signup for using my referral link here.
Reading about frugal living is just the beginning. Don’t just read this article and then move on to the next, you read all the way down to the bottom of this article for a reason!
Pin it or bookmark it for reference and start with one thing at a time or go all in and challenge yourself! Let me know in the comments your thoughts and how you plan on living frugally.
Have any questions or comments? Leave them below and I will try and answer them.